Task: Assess and Validate Solution
Assess and Validate Solution
Disciplines: Business Analysis

Purpose

Determine which solution best fits the business need.

Relationships

RolesPrimary Performer: Additional Performers:
InputsMandatory:
    Optional:
      Outputs

        Main Description

        This task involves assessing the proposed solution to determine which solutions best fit the business need, identifying gaps and shortcomings in solutions, and determining the necessary workarounds or changes to the solution. It also includes assessing deployed solutions to see how well they met the original need so that the sponsoring agency can assess the performance and effectiveness of the solution.

        Steps

        Assess Proposed Solution
        Solution assessment may be performed on a single solution or to compare multiple proposed solutions. When assessing a single solution, the business analyst determines whether the solution delivers enough of the business value to justify its implementation. This will most often be the case when a custom solution has been created to meet a particular business need. When assessing multiple alternative solutions, the business analyst has the additional goal of attempting to determine which solution delivers the greatest business value. This requires understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.
        Allocate Requirements

        Requirement allocation is the process of assigning stakeholder and solution requirements to solution components and to releases. Allocation is supported by assessing the tradeoffs between alternatives in order to maximize benefits and minimize costs. The business value of a solution changes depending on how requirements are implemented and when the solution becomes available to stakeholders, and the objective of allocation is to maximize that value.

        Requirements may be allocated between organizational units, between job functions, between people and software, software application components or releases of a solution. Requirement allocation typically begins early in the project lifecycle and will continue to be performed until all valid requirements are allocated. Allocation typically continues through design and construction of a solution.

        Assess Organizational Readiness
        An organizational readiness assessment describes the effect a new solution will have on an organization and whether the organization is prepared for the organizational change that the solution implementation will cause. Effective communication of solution impacts assists in enabling necessary organizational change management practices and identifying training requirements for solution implementation.
        Define Transition Requirements

        During the transition period (the time when both the old and new solutions are operational), the enterprise may need to operate both solutions in parallel, move information between the new and old solution, conduct training to enable stakeholders to effectively operate the new solution, and so forth. In addition to developing the solution itself, the implementation team will likely have to develop additional capabilities to support the transition.

        Transition requirements are elicited, analyzed, managed, and communicated by performing the same tasks as the other requirements. The difference is not in the methods for defining them, but in the inputs, the nature of transition requirements, and in that they cease to be relevant once the existing solution is eliminated.

        In instances where there is not an existing solution and the new solution is adding an entirely new capability to the enterprise rather than extending and improving an existing capability, the transition requirements do not need to be analyzed.

        Validate Solution
        Solution validation is required to ensure that a delivered solution meets the business needs on an ongoing basis. Problems that are identified through solution validation will be reported and prioritized for resolution. When a problem is identified with the solution, the business analyst will be able to help the team determine the most appropriate action. In certain environments, the BA will have to write test scripts and facilitate testing.
        Evaluate Solution Performance
        Solution evaluation involves investigating how a solution is actually used after it is deployed, and assessing the effect it has, both positive and negative. It may also be referred to as post-implementation assessment when performed immediately following the completion of a project. Examples may be to schedule exit interviews after 60 days or pull Service Desk tickets.